Rumour Mill Rumblings

In the following, I’m going to do my best to round up some of the bigger transfer rumours involving Chelsea circulating the internet, TV, ...

In the following, I’m going to do my best to round up some of the bigger transfer rumours involving Chelsea circulating the internet, TV, and pubs alike. Now, I’m not saying that I’m giving 100% credence to all of them, but I’m going to try and list some of the more prominent ones and see what the ChelseaDaft community thinks about them, and what the varying degrees of truth may be.

Managers – Let’s be real here - the number one issue on the docket (yes, above a striker) is locking down a top-class manager for next season. With the news that we will no longer have to endure Fergie-time, and the hype surrounding Moyes’ appointment, I can’t help but turn my attention to who we will see on the touchline next season.

Jose Mourinho – I have to believe, as does just about everyone the world over, that the biggest front-runner has been the Special One himself. His regular falling outs with the Spanish media, half of the first-team (Saint Iker, primarily), and as it seems, some of those in the front office suggests his decision may already be made up and he is on his way out. However, as recently as this week, he’s been quoted as saying that he wants to remain to see out his project at the Bernabeu.
Honestly, and this is all personal speculation, I don’t doubt these are nothing but his perfectly executed mind games, cooly manipulating the strings like a master puppeteer. His highly-publicized battles with some stars on the team, leading to an outcry by the media to see his head on the chopping block, may be an effort on his part to get Real Madrid President Florentino Perez to drop the guillotine, freeing him from his pricey release clause. Then Mou, knowing he’s heading for the axe, further entices Roman to dig a bit deeper into his (essentially bottomless) bank account to ensure Mourinho’s signature by suggesting he may want to stay at Madrid, after all. Regardless, he’s my (and just about every bookie’s) odds-on favorite for ending up at the helm next season. If that were to prove to be the case, what would the CD community think?
I’d love to see Mou on the touchline, but I still haven’t completely convinced myself it isn’t for solely nostalgic reasons. Without a doubt, he’s one of the greatest managers the world has seen, but some of his
unhinged antics (attempted 'Pai Mei'-style eye-snatch, anyone??) we've seen during his tenure at the Bernabeu give me pause. His exile of Iker and ensuing derogatory comments were not helpful to team cohesiveness, leading even Pepe (Mou’s lapdog) to speak out against Casillas’ treatment and Mourinho’s comments. To me, this is a very different Mourinho than had been seen at Chelsea and Inter, during which time, his players couldn't heap enough praise on him for the encouragement and team-oriented mentality he cultivated. Regardless, I’m curious what other CFC fans think. Would you like to see a nostalgia-fueled blast from the past, or would you prefer to go forward in a different direction?

Manuel Pellegrini – Personally, I think Pellegrini is one of the more underrated gaffer’s in the game. He led Madrid to their highest-ever points total in La Liga – unfortunately, Barca had a record season of their own. Then, as I feel, he was somewhat unfairly sacked to make room for none other than Jose Mourinho. What he has done with Malaga, as cash-strapped and doomed as they are, I think is incredibly impressive. He would have found himself facing down his former club if not for the absurdly unbelievable antics in the last 3 minutes of the Malaga-Dortmund quarterfinal of the Champions League. To be fair, I haven’t watched much of Malaga in La Liga this year, but what I did see in the CL impressed me. They executed a fairly fluid and fun style, which I think would appeal to the Roman Emperor. And needless to say, we’ve got quite a few attacking talents with a silky, fluid style that he might be able to bring the best out of.

Diego Simeone – Wayyyy outside chance, little-to-none if I’m not kidding myself, but I had to throw Simeone on here because I am personally a huge fan of what he’s done at Atletico
as far as taking on the giants. Atletico is an absolute joy to watch play, attacking with pace, precision passing, and deadly finishing (everything I’d love to see at the Bridge), and it’s all been masterminded by Simeone. That’s all I’m going to say, but I wonder if anyone else feels the same as me.

Michael Laudrup – A bit of an underdog, this one, but in my opinion, still a possibility. He’s worked wonders with Swansea (I’d never have put money on them lifting a trophy this season), and although I think he still might need another season of Premier League experience under his belt, his appointment wouldn't completely surprise me. As I said, he’s done great with this season, and has caught some attention with the swagger that he’s brought to Swansea.

Players – Now, turning focus to some of the player rumours, I’m going to run down some of the more popular ones being reported over the last few days.

Falcao – Chelsea have continued their flirtation with the Colombian wonder over the past few weeks, and the pressure is really starting to pile up. Multiple sources are reporting that both Atletico and Falcao have agreed to a switch to Monaco in a move worth €50-60 million, and possibly a salary for Falcao of €10
million per year. I’m not sure how much truth there is, but the cash-infused Monaco could certainly afford the purchase, and would do well to build their squad around such an incredible talent. To me, he’s the best #9 in the world right now, a born goalscorer and with the ability to create for himself (as we saw in the Super Cup) - without a doubt, he’s worth every penny…..for Monaco. For us, as much as I would relish the chance to see Falcao in Blue, I just don’t think it’s feasible or smart for us to shell out €50-60+ million on a striker. For that kind of money, we could invest in a few promising younger/up and coming talents (see below), and have a deeper squad for it.

Robert Lewandowski – Another striking option, although I’m not sold on the Polish striker. He looks like he could be brought in for around €30 million, but to me, he seems to be a bit of a one-trick-pony. He relies heavily on good service, and as we've seen with Torres, we need someone up top with more creativity, not someone who will need a the perfect ball to pounce on. I know I’ll take some stick for this, but for some
reason, my gut tells me he wouldn't be the answer to our problems. I very likely may be forced to eat my words. In any case, indications seem that he might be following Goetze to Bayern.

Andre Schurrle – Honestly, I can’t speak much on him because I don’t know much about him. I know he’s a highly-rated German national who likes to play out wide, and I think if we could snag him for the right price, he might be worth the investment. I don’t know if I see him as a week-in-week-out player, but maybe he’s got the quality to do so. The only reservations I have about bringing him in is that it might mean losing De Bruyne, who I think is pure class. However, I wouldn't mind seeing this deal go through, as long as it didn't mean permanently losing KDB.

Marouane Fellaini – To me, a square peg in a round hole. I don’t see him fitting our system well, as we've already got players who are too slow playing the ball up-field for my taste. He’s great at slowing the pace of the midfield down, and managing the tempo, but I don’t think that’s what we need from a deep-lying midfielder behind Mazacar (subbing in Moses, KDB, Marin, etc.). Ramires would seem to be a direct competitor for Fellaini’s position, and I think he brings everything that the Belgian would, plus blistering pace and a nose for huge goals in huge games. Coupled with Oscar, who I feel could slot back into a deeper midfield role in the mould of Pirlo as a change of pace to the Brazilian, Fellaini is not worth the money in my book. I think that Gundogan would be a much better choice if we were going to make a move for a pivot-role player. (Also, there would just be way too much damn hair in our midfield if we partnered him with Luiz)

Wayne Rooney – No. Just, please, no. There’s no spot in our squad for him, or his ego, and he’s just not worth shelling the money out on. We've got Mata who is a far superior play-maker, and I don’t see Rooney returning to his glory days as a striker. I think Ferguson knew he was on the decline and that’s why he didn't feature in too many big games this season. Way too much money for another player past his peak to play a position we've already got covered. 
If we want to go after another player to sit behind our striker, I say we chase the Colombian wizard James Rodriguez. Although he’s been playing through the middle more often lately, he can naturally play out wide, and has the fantastic Hazard-like ability to cut inside and create with his vision and precision passing, or lace a shot on goal. There’s a reason the great Carlos Valderrama dubbed him “El Nuevo Pibe”.

Jackson Martinez – Yet another brilliant Colombian (do they have one hell of a good looking national team or what?!). This rumour has fizzled a bit in recent weeks, but anyone paying attention to the undefeated Porto this season will recognize the name. He’s netted a fantastic 30 goals in all competitions in 35 appearances for Porto, and has scored almost 3 times as many as the next highest goalscorer (James Rodriguez). As it’s rumoured, his release clause sits somewhere around €30 million, which I think would be a fair enough price for the quality of player I rate him. 

Hulk – A player who we had our eye on since he was at Porto. He hasn't exactly flourished since his transfer to Russia, but that’s not to say the Brazilian has lost a step. I think he’s had a rough time adjusting to life in Russia, and he doesn't seem to be too happy. I read that there was some renewed interest on our part in bringing him back from the tundra, but I’m not sure how much substance there is. Frankly, for the right price, he’d be a brilliant signing. His power and pace harken back to the Drogba days, and I think he could be a great target-man for our offense.

Bottomline, I’d like seeing a top striker come in and bringing Lukaku back for depth up front. On top of that, CB might be on the cards (Varane if Mourinho comes? We can always pray…), especially if David Luiz is going to be playing a midfield role more often (which I hope he does). Maybe another deep-lying playmaking midfielder to take some of the responsibility off of Ramires in that position, particularly if Lampard ends up leaving.

What do you guys think? I want to hear what everyone thinks about some of these rumours floating around, any/all preferences, and whether or not you've heard any new murmurings that I may have missed. And if you want to join me in continuing to hope Pep is planning the most epic troll of all time on Bayern fans and instead coming to the Bridge this summer, please do.

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